New Zealand new vehicle sales rose 14 percent in September, providing a bright light in the current gloomy economic environment, says the Motor Trade Association.

New vehicle sales increased to 8,690 last month from 7,628 compared in the same month a year earlier, the association said in a statement. New car sales rose 17 percent to 6,637, making 2012 the strongest September in four years.

"There are still plenty of aggressive marketing campaigns out there and buyer interest remains strong," MTA spokesperson Ian Stronach said.

"With the New Zealand dollar remaining at close to historically high rates, a new vehicle is stacking up as a compelling proposition for more and more people."


The New Zealand dollar is currently trading near its recent six-month highs at 81.95 US cents.

The new commercial vehicle market was strong, with sales of new units up 6 percent to 2,053 on a year earlier, making it the strongest September in five years.

The top selling passenger car brand was Toyota increasing its market share by 18 percent, followed by Holden up 11 percent and Ford gaining 9 percent.

The top selling car model in September was the Toyota Corolla at 453 units and the Suzuki Swift at 351 units.

New Zealand retail sales rose more than expected in the June quarter as people spent a record amount on cars and auto-parts since the series began in 1995.

The total volume of spending rose a seasonally adjusted 1.3 percent to $17.25 billion in the three months ended June 30, according to Statistics New Zealand, led by a 7.3 percent boost in expenditure on motor vehicles and parts.